Feeling Overwhelmed? Here’s How Time Management Can Improve Your Mental Health and Productivity
Quarantine slump is real.
Even if you tried to stay as productive as possible in the last few months, there’s a good chance you had off days (or maybe even weeks.)
Tell me if these sound familiar:
● Sleeping through your alarm
● Not showering
● Wearing sweatpants 24/7
● “Working” from your couch.
● Eating snacks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and conveniently putting off your workout routines.
In short, you’ve been doing your best to “keep calm and carry on.”
But it’s easier said than done. Trying to stick to a routine is hard but during a global pandemic? It’s even harder than before.
Although times are difficult right now, there is one easy way to help regain focus and even a little normalcy. And that’s by working on your time management skills.
Why is time management so critical?
There are only 24 hours in a day, so you have to make them count. Practicing your time management skills is useful for school, work, and your everyday life.
Time management is defined as how you organize and plan your day. This includes dividing specific activities into specific times to keep yourself on task.
When you start to master time management, your life will drastically improve in more ways than you can imagine.
The benefits of time management.
Time management is not just about staying on task for a specific time. It’s about working smarter, not harder.
These are some of our favorite ways of how time management can improve your mental health and other areas of your life.
1. Improves quality of work: Think about the last time you had a hectic day. How did you manage your time? Or, did you manage it at all? Many of us are guilty of multitasking throughout the day because we think we can get more done. But in the end, it might hurt our productivity, cause more stress, and decrease quality of work. Instead of skipping around to different tasks and completing them to 75% of your ability, carve out specific times to work on each job individually and work at 100%.
2. Improves focus: Have you ever spent hours working on something, only to realize that you didn’t get much done? Your time management skills might be the culprit. The more you practice focusing on one task at a time and putting in the effort, the easier it is to stay focused. Work on your self-discipline and it will only get better with time. Bonus tip: Try the Pomodoro Technique—this popular approach created by developer, entrepreneur, and author Francesco Cirillo has you work on one single task for 25 minutes and when time is up, you take a short 5-minute break before starting the next timer. Get the desktop app Be Focused to try it yourself.
3. Reduces stress: Most of the time, we feel stressed because we have too much work to complete and what seems like not enough time to get it done. But again, you need to work smarter, not harder. Take control of your time each day instead of rushing frantically through your work. Stay organized, set deadlines for yourself, and work efficiently. When you start hitting those deadlines and finishing tasks early, you’re going to help yourself feel less stressed overall.
4. Creates a healthy work-life balance: By learning how to manage your time effectively throughout the day, you’ll be able to finish your deadlines on time. No more answering emails and working on presentations until 9:00 at night, having dinner with your partner with one eye and hand on your phone, and losing out on time for essential self-care practices. Establish boundaries and start experiencing life to its fullest, instead of getting stuck working all day and night.
5. Boosts confidence: When you start reaching goals on a regular basis, imagine how much confidence you’ll have day after day. If you’re constantly down on yourself for not finishing your work on time or not completing something to the best of your ability, look at your time management. Maybe you just need to restructure your day to start achieving your goals. Think about this: How many times a day do you worry about not having enough time to complete an important task? Instead of wasting energy and time complaining, you created the habit to have a plan and get what needs to be done. Stay positive and recognize that you can do anything you set your mind to.
How to implement practical time management skills every day.
Even if it seems complicated, there are several easy ways to practice effective time management.
1. First, create a to-do list at the start of every week. Include everything you want to complete in the upcoming days. Then, each morning pick specific tasks to finish. When you see tasks written out in long-form, you are more likely to achieve them. In a study called, “The Gender Gap and Goal-Setting,” it found that people who vividly describe their goals by writing them down are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully achieve their goals than people who don’t. Plus, checking them off feels great!
2. Set deadlines for yourself and start with the difficult tasks first. If you are already dreading the thought of getting something done, work on that first. Then, you can forget about it and move on to easier work.
3. Don’t be afraid to take breaks. If you start to feel unfocused and your mind is wandering, take a break. Go for a quick walk around the block, drink some water, or even eat a snack. In the end, short breaks boost your energy levels and help improve concentration.
4. Ignore your phone. It’s one of the easiest ways we get distracted. While you work, keep your phone facing down and even turn on the Do Not Disturb mode. The last thing you need is to be in the zone, hear that notification ding, and then get sucked into an endless scroll on your favorite social media app.
5. Most importantly, stay organized! When you know exactly where everything is, whether it’s a file on your computer or your favorite notebook, your day will go much smoother. Instead of wasting time looking for what you need, you can get right to work and finish your task list for the day sooner rather than later.
If creating the habits is taking a little longer than expected, try a natural focus supplement.
When all else fails, consider taking a natural focus supplement to help you stay focused and motivated each day.
Ingredients such as caffeine stimulate the brain and keep you focused. Or, look for ginseng, an ancient Chinese medicine that’s been used for centuries to increase energy and improve brain function. Another fantastic ingredient is L-Theanine, which helps improve attention, focus, learning, and memory.
Natural focus supplements are excellent to use on days when you have a lot to get done. They boost productivity levels, decrease brain fog, and help you stay on track.
Big Takeaway: Efficient time management skills are a must in 2020.
So, there you have it. These are some of the best ways for how time management can improve your mental health and productivity.
We want you to succeed in managing your time, improving your productivity, and doing things you’re passionate about. Whether you are working from home or in the office, learning in school or virtual learning from home, learning how to manage your time is crucial.
Not only will you get more done, but you have the potential to be more motivated and happier in the long run. Start every day with a positive attitude, practice time management, and start crushing that goal list.